LatinNews Daily - 17 August 2022

In brief: Argentina to start producing lithium batteries this year

* Roberto Salvarezza, the director of Argentina’s state-owned energy research & development company, Y-Tech, has announced that Y-Tech will begin producing lithium cells for batteries from December 2022. According to a government press release, a factory in the city of La Plata, Buenos Aires province, has been completed and equipment for the production of value-added lithium products is expected to arrive in October. Y-Tech, a subsidiary of state oil company Yacimientos Petrolíferos Fiscales (YPF) and the national scientific research institute (Conicet), aims to produce 13 MWh annually at the plant, equivalent to 1,000 batteries for renewable energy storage. On a visit to the La Plata plant yesterday, Argentina’s President Alberto Fernández stated that “Argentina is the second largest lithium reserve in the world, so we not only have to export it, but also industrialise it.” Fernández highlighted the need to add value to the export: “our potential multiplies enormously if we industrialise it. Lithium has a very different value if it is exported as a mineral than if it is exported as a battery. That not only means setting up factories, or creating jobs, but it also means multiplying its price.

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